In 2015, when Angela Merkel triumphantly declared “Wir schaffen dass” or “We will manage”, it was intended to be a war cry to unite her fellow countrymen to accept her proposal to host close to a million refugees in a single year. Equally, as leader of Europe’s most powerful economy, it was a call to action to the leaders of her fellow EU member states to follow suit. Since then Merkel has come under intense pressure from the far-right in her own country in the aftermath of terrorist attacks on German soil and across Europe and as a result, a year on, her pleas have been silenced even though the refugee’s plight worsens.

However, there are a handful of powerful academic voices that are talking above the cacophony. Chief among them is Alexander Betts, a professor at Oxford University and Director of the Refugees Studies Centre at the university. Betts who has studied the economics and politics of refugee crisis’ in Africa, Middle East and more recently in Europe, is quick to point out the dichotomy in the way the West preaches about human rights and the way it actually deals with situations like migration. “For a long time, there has been an organised hypocrisy in the way the West responds to refugees. On the one hand, states have signed up to refugee conventions and made commitments to respect the human rights of all migrants. On the other, they’re engaged in a competition to deter and avoid responsibility for taking in refugees.” This has been magnified in the on-going refugee crisis that began in 2015 in Europe he notes, before explaining that, “what has been framed as a crisis of numbers is much more a crisis of politics”.